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May, 2022 

Volume XXVI 

Number 5 
archive edition 


Glynna Elliott Morse 

My great grandfather, George Washington Mitchell, 
first came to Bates County, Missouri from 
Princeton, Kentucky in 1869, and I was planning to 
write about his family history. The Mitchell family 
goes back to pre-American Revolutionary days, 
when three Mitchell brothers arrived in Bertie 
County, North Carolina in 1773. My family owes 
much to my great aunt, Quincy Mitchell, for 
beginning to compile the Mitchell family history 
over 100 years ago, a time when she had no access 
to computer databases, and much of her research 
was done by writing to family cousins and copying 
information from family letters. So for this 
newsletter, I decided to focus on the research 
process of my Great Aunt Quincy. 

Quincy Mitchell (1871-1942) was born on a farm 
in Bates County, Missouri a few miles northeast of 
Butler, Missouri, the first of four children of George 
Washington Mitchell and Marion T. Hunter. 
Quincy was the sister of my grandmother, Josephine 
Ward Mitchell (1875-1911). Both Quincy and 
Josephine taught in rural one-room schools in Bates 
County before their parents and two brothers moved 
to Durant, Indian Territory in 1903, and later the 
Indian Territory became the State of Oklahoma. 
Quincy taught school in Durant for a few years 
before she opened a millinery shop in downtown 
Durant in 1913, which she operated until she retired 
in the 1930s. 

She was active in the DAR, and she wrote and 
provided historical information about the early 
history of Durant, when it was a frontier town just 
opening up when the Katy Railroad came through in 

Quincy began recording family information after the 
family had moved to Durant. Quincy Mitchell 
intensified her genealogy work when she was 
applying for membership in DAR (Daughters of the 
American Revolution), and she was granted 
membership on the basis of her grandfather, 
Thomas Mitchell, who served in the American 
Revolutionary War. She gathered dates of birth, 
marriage, and death, as well as military records. As 
part of her history, Quincy included several short 
stories told her by her father along with letters her 
father had received from his brothers in Kentucky 
when he had moved to Missouri in 1869. 

By 1941, she had completed a 35-page “History of 
Cato Mitchell and His Descendants,” which she had 
typewritten and made carbon copies for various 
family members, including my father. No 
photocopying was available in Durant, Oklahoma in 
1941, and as I recall from manual typewriting 
courses, three to five carbon copies was about the 
maximum number of legible carbon copies 
possible—and Quincy had many relatives with 
whom she shared the Mitchell history, so she typed 
several copies. (1) 

Those of us with access to computers and digitized 
databases tend to forget the changes that have 
occurred in the last thirty years. I found it 
interesting what Quincy wrote in her letter to 
relatives as she mailed copies of the Mitchell family 
history about how she had researched information. 
Below are excerpts from a letter written by Quincy 
Mitchell on August 21, 1938 to Florence Nabb, a 
cousin living in Princeton, KY: 

“T have said to Cousin Mary Lou Fickering more 
times than one that I believed that you and I should 
put our heads together and write the history of our 
family. At least all that we would recall of history, 
traditions, stories and reminiscences handed down 

from our ancestors. Yours from your mother, mine 
from my father. 

“T am sorry, now, that I didn’t make a record of the 
early history of the Mitchell family as told to me by 
my father, for he loved to talk of incidents and 
happenings of the long ago. Most all people are 
prone to value lightly these facts and incidents when 
they are young. Later in life, often too late, they 
wake up to the importance of these records. [Many 
of us can relate to those words, wishing we had 
asked more questions of our relatives. ] 

“About 34 years ago [in 1904], when our Aunt 
Martha Latta visited us, she had a record of the year 
of birth of her brothers and sisters. I had enough 
foresight to make a copy of those dates....I believe 
the most remote or furthest in the past that I can 
recall hearing my father tell is that our great-great 
grandfather, Thomas Mitchell, and two brothers 
came to America from England a few years [1773] 
before the War of the Revolution, settling in Bertie 
County, North Carolina. All the brothers enlisted in 
the American army, helping gain the independence 
of the Colonies. 

“....1 was eligible to belong to the DAR, but I had 
no specific evidence, and could give no facts as to 
my ancestors actual military service....Hearsay and 
tradition are not accepted. So Cousin Captola 
Dodson Campbell and I became interested in 
digging up some real evidence. By perseverance 
and much writing to the War Department at 
Washington, D. C., we finally established enough 
proof to be admitted to the D.A.R.... 

“Our greatest difficulty was in finding the records of 
war service of the right Thomas Mitchell, which, by 
the way, happens to be a very common surname. At 
that time, Cousin Ruth Latta Johnson’s oldest 
daughter, Mrs. Inez Johnson Black, now living in 
Washington, D.C Cousin Captola wrote to her and 
enlisted her help in investigating the records. There 
were three Thomas Mitchells from North Carolina 
who had served in the Revolution. After much 
writing back and forth and putting our notes 
together, we finally established proof that one of the 
Thomas Mitchells was our ancestor.”’(1) 

Thanks to Quincy’s Mitchell history, she handed 
down anecdotal or family stories about our 

Revolutionary War ancestor. Today, more 
information is becoming available, regimental lists, 
pension records, etc., but Quincy directed us to 
information about the battles in which Thomas 
Mitchell was in the decisive battles of Stony Point 
(NY) in 1779 and Cowpens (SC) in 1781.(1) 
Thomas Mitchell married Amelia Berryman in 
1784, and both remained in North Carolina the rest 
of their lives.(2) Not only did Quincy provide 
background for Thomas Mitchell, but she also 
included a wealth of information about later 
generations, providing information that has been 
valuable to different branches of the Mitchell 
family. Quincy’s legacy is to remind us that what 
family information we write today can be helpful to 
future generations. 

Sources: (1) Compiled by Quincy Mitchell, 
“History of Cato Mitchell and Descendants,” 
manuscript, January, 1941 

(2) William Elsey Connelley & Ellis Merton 
Coulter, History of Kentucky, Vol. 3, 1922. 

Al Morse 

I finally got to go to the Steamboat Arabia Museum 
in Kansas City, Missouri. I have wanted to go for 
years. I live at Foxwood Springs, a retirement 
community in Raymore, Missouri. They take 
residents to see various sites in the Kansas City 
area. Nancy Miller, Life Enrichment Coordinator at 
Foxwood, scheduled a bus trip for residents to visit 
the Arabia Museum. I only had to pay for the 
admission to the museum. We had a guide to lead 
us and explain many details. We also saw 3 or 4 
videos on our walk. 

I taught school in Independence, Missouri. I was 
aware of the people who discovered the boat, dug 
up the remains, and opened the museum. News 
articles were in the local newspaper, “ The 
Independence Examiner”. Bob Hawley, his family, 
and other investors were quoted in the paper. 

The Steamboat Arabia was built in 1853. It was 171 
feet long and carried up to 222 tons of cargo with its 
crew and its passengers. It cruised the Missouri 
River starting in St. Louis and traveled up the river 

all the way to Iowa. It could make stops at river 
towns in Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa. 

The river was dangerous because of fallen trees. A 
steamboat could hit a large limb that was under 
water and it could sink boats. During floods, new 
channels could be dug out by the river. So boats that 
sank could be covered and buried by mud. 

On September 5, 1856, the Steamboat Arabia hit a 
limb that poked a hole in the boat. The boat sank in 
just a few minutes. This was just past Kansas City. 
All 150 passengers and crew made it safely off the 
boat. Only a donkey that was tied to a rail drowned. 
All of the possessions sank. The Missouri River, 
over a period of several years, cut another channel, 
and the boat was covered by mud. 

In 1988, the Bob Hawley family and other investors 
found where the boat was buried in a field that was 
farmed. The boat was 45 feet underground and 
one-half mile from the current Missouri River. It 
took a little over 4 months to carefully dig and find 
the boat. Little by little, they discovered what was 
on board the boat. A rumor was that the boat had 
gold or whiskey, but it did not. They found jars of 
canned food, buttons, thread, beads, clothing, tools, 
building supplies, and weaponry. Most of the 
passengers were headed to Iowa to start building 
new homes. One of the men opened a jar of pickles 
and found that they were still edible. 

The original idea was to sell the items found in the 
boat, but they decided to build and open a museum. 
It took a lot of time to carefully clean the items. 
They are still cleaning some of the items. One 
example of this process is a keg of nails. They 
show a keg of rusted uncleaned nails and and keg of 
cleaned nails. Each nail had to be individually 
cleaned. They demonstrate the cleaning process. 

One of the reasons that I wanted to see the museum 
is because of the relatives I had that had traveled 
from Virginia to Clay County, Missouri. They 
arrived at Liberty Landing in June, 1854. My 
great-great grandparents, Isaac and Louisa (Tracey) 
Farnsworth, and 3 or 4 young children came. Also, 
their oldest daughter, Rachel Elizabeth, and her 
husband, Joseph Mooney, and their 3 children came 
with them Joseph and Rachel are my great 

grandparents. They traveled down the Ohio River, 
up the Mississippi River, and up the Missouri River. 

Since the records showed that the Steamboat Arabia 
only ran on the Missouri River, I wonder if my 
relatives came on just one boat or did they have to 
change to different boats on the different rivers? 
They also brought some personal belongings. They 
would have brought clothes, household items, 
farming items, etc. They also brought some 
furniture. There was an old table in one of the 
upstairs bedrooms in my parents’ house. It was in 
pretty rough shape, but my mother, Mildred 
Catherine (Janssens) Morse, told me that it was 
brought by river to Missouri. My wife, Dorothy Jean 
(Newcomb) Morse, and I discussed keeping the 
table, but we decided to let it sell at the auction. 

At the time they came from Virginia, Travel could 
be difficult by boat and diseases could be found in 
the passengers. Isaac Farnsworth died of cholera. 
The crew took his body during the night and buried 
him on the banks of the Missouri River. They gave 
the family some papers found in his pocket. The 
family asked about money, but they said there was 
none. But, he had received a lot of money from 
selling property in Virginia. The family arrived in 
Clay County without much money. It was a tough 
life for a while. 

(Editor's Note: Both Al and I were very interested in 
learning more about the Arabia when we read 
“Steamboating on the Missouri River” by Glynna 
Elliott Morse in the February issue of the “MCG 
Newsletter”. “My daughter, Kathleen Bariteau, sent 
me a couple of papers about the discovery of the 
sunken Steamboat Malta found in a farm field near 
Malta Bend, Missouri. The Malta, which had sunk 
in 1841, 1s another sunken steamboat discovery of 
the Hawley family, the finders of the sunken 
Steamboat Arabia, for which the remains and 
contents of the Arabia are now housed in the 
Steamboat Arabia Museum in Kansas City. The 
Malta sank in 1841, which is a special find because 
it dates to an earlier period of steamboats carrying 
cargo for trading with fur trading posts, Indians, and 
early settlers.” Al was able to go to see the Arabia, 
but I was unable to participate at that time. M. S.) 


Campbell Craig Barnds 

(Editor's Note: I received the following query from 
Cam Barnds, a long-time member of MCG. Cam 
used to attend all of our meetings, but, when he 
became a SAR member, he had a time conflict since 
his chapter met the third Saturday of each month, as 
did MCG. However, he has always been a very loyal 
and active member. At one time we did some 
research for him but were unable to find his 3 great 
grandparents. He moved from this area to Fort 
Worth to be with his family, but he is still on our 
MCG mailing list. He is working on his family 
history and wonders what to include. M. S.) 

Iam working to put together my personal History. I 
am still blessed with a good memory as to events 
but Not the dates. I wonder how many details and 
events to include. 

I am a descendent of families from Pennsylvania 
and 3 Revolutionary Patriots, and Iam a member of 
the SAR. I am still looking for the parents of my 
great great grandfather, Daniel Barnds. (The name 
might be spelled Barnes, Barnd, or Barns.) My 
mother was Swedish, so my genetics are half 

I was born in 1933 during the Depression of the 

1930s My father died when I was 12. My mother 

worked at a Business that made steel overhead 
folding doors. She worked in downtown Kansas 
City on 17th Street across from the Old School. I 

learned to drive early because my mother had been 

in an accident, and she chose not to drive. 

At present, I have 11 grandchildren and 11 great 
grandchildren, and more to come. 

I just ordered the Missouri Historical Society Book 
on the 200 Anniversary of Missouri. I enjoy the 
history and stories you and Al write! I would 
appreciate any suggestions you may have. 

Campbell Craig Barnds, Fort Worth 

Marjorie Slavens 

When my mother, Mildred Welty Slavens, began 
her family history research in the 1970s, she had no 
idea she would be writing books about her family 
lines. She knew very little about her ancestors 
beyond her own grandparents. Her sisters told her 
she should do this research since she was the oldest, 
but she had very little information about her 
ancestors beyond her own grandparents. She 
certainly did not know she would be producing 
books on her Welty, Eppright, Kerr, Crawford, and 
Heape ancestors and a small volume, Welty Family 
Letters She completed three editions of the Welty 
book, the third having 330 pages, and two editions 
of the Kerr, Eppright, and Heape books. In addition 
to these books, she also had created unpublished 
books on the Cocghnowers, Millers, Meadows, 
Tefertillers, etc., from her line and the Slavens, 
Parks, Heslers, Westmeiers, and related families 
from my father’s line. 

She first used Family Tree Maker to preserve her 
data and later began to prepare the books. She 
published al00 page Welty book with a few pages 
about the Epprights and another book of about 50 
pages about the Kerrs with a few pages about the 
Heapes in 1981. She typed these books on the 
manual Royal typewriter my parents gave me for 
graduation from high school. The third edition of 
the Welty book had about 330 pages, and she was 
completing a third edition of the Eppright book 
shortly before her death, having moved from a 
manual typewriter to a computer I gave her for her 
86" birthday. Her early research was done in 
libraries, court houses, genealogical societies, 
cemeteries, etc., and her later research expanded 
through her use of the Internet. 

How much information one includes in such 
publications depends on the research and the 
information received. We never finish our 
genealogical research, but it is important to preserve 
for future generations the information we have and 
to continue to research to find new information. We 
will never retrieve all of the information about our 
ancestors, but we should preserve what we find so 

future generations can have this information as they 
continue their own research. 

Her books had a Table of Contents, a Preface, in 
which she introduced the subject and acknowledged 
the people and organizations who had helped her in 
this research. She included a “Key” or 
“Organization” of the book to explain the format 
she used. I indexed all of her books; we 
encountered a number of books from the 19" and 
early 20" centuries that were not indexed, and it was 
difficult at times to find the information about our 
family members. 


This history begins with the first generation in 
America, Peter Welty, who came to this country in 
1727. The first generation of the family is 
designated by the letter "P". Each succeeding 
generation is designated by a number. For example, 
Linda Jean Shockley Donahue is listed as 1-2-1-6-8- 
4-]1-2-P. Linda is the first child (1) of Beverly Jean 
Slavens Shockley (2), the second child of Mildred 
Marie Welty Slavens (1), the first child of Edward 
Alonzo Welty (6), the sixth child of Henry Welty 
(8), the eighth child of John Welty (4), the fourth 
child of John Welty, Jr. (11), the eleventh child of 
John Welty, Sr. (2), the second child of Peter Welty 
(P). Roman numerals refer to generations of the 
family, and Peter Welty is the first generation.” 

The length of articles about family members varies 
according to the information that could be found. 
Following are two examples of individual 
biographies, one which she wrote about her uncle, 
Walter William Welty, about whom we had very 
little information, and the second about Mother, 
which I wrote. 

“VI. Family of Walter William Welty 

Walter William Welty (3-8-4-11-2-P), son of Henry 
Welty (8-4-11-2-P) and Catharine Mary Eppright, 
was born September 27, 1875 in Jasper County, 
Missouri. He was a farmer and rural mail carrier in 
the Carthage, Missouri area. He married Hattie, a 
widow with a son named Elmer. Walter Welty died 

July 14, 1941 near Carthage, Missouri. He was 
buried at Green Lawn Cemetery, Jasper, Missouri”. 

“VII. Family of Mildred Marie Welty 

Mildred Marie Welty (1-6-8-4-11-2-P), daughter of 
Edward Alonzo Welty (6-8-4-11-2-P) and Hattie 
Lee Kerr, was born December 2, 1910 in Kansas 
City, Missouri. She moved to Kansas City, Kansas 
in 1914 and attended the first three grades at Abbott 
School. The family then moved to another location, 
and she attended Hawthorne School. She entered 
Northwest Junior High, graduating in 1925. She 
graduated from Kansas City, Kansas High School in 
1928 and attended Kansas City, Kansas Junior 
College for two years in a teacher training course 
for teachers for the Kansas City, Kansas schools. 

On October 12, 1930, she married Ralph Westmeier 
Slavens, who was born May 28, 1907 at Seymour, 
Indiana. He was the son of William Howard Slavens 
and Edna Marie Westmeier of Webb City, 
Oklahoma. His grandparents were John Reuben 
Slavens and Laura Martin Hesler of Clinton, Henry 
County, Missouri and Christian Westmeier and 
Wilhelmina Gilman of Seymour, Indiana. They 
were married at her parents' home in Kansas City, 
Kansas. Her parents; her brother, Edward; her 
sisters, Virginia, Kathryn and Evelyn; her 
grandmother, Millie Kerr; his mother, Edna 
Slavens; and his grandmother, Laura Hesler, 
attended the wedding. After the wedding, they 
moved to Asbury, Missouri, but he was soon laid 
off at the mines because of the depression. Younger 
employees with less seniority were the first to lose 
their jobs as the depression intensified. They lived 
for a while in Oklahoma with his parents and then 
in Kansas City with her parents while Ralph 
attended barber college. After the birth of their son, 
George Everett, they moved to Shidler, Oklahoma, 
where Ralph operated a barber shop, sold cars and 
license tags, and was the Justice of the Peace. 

The Slavens family endured the same economic 
problems that were experienced by many young 
families in Oklahoma during the depression years. 
In 1939, they moved to Pittsburg, Kansas, where he 
had a tire repair business. Ralph obtained work for 

the National Lead Company on April 1, 1940 for 
$17.00 a week. He continued to work for this 
company most of the time until his retirement in 

They moved to Columbus, Kansas in November, 
1940 and to Carl Junction, Missouri in December, 
1941. He was transferred to Fredericktown, 
Missouri in 1945, where they lived until the 
company transferred him to St. Louis Missouri in 

After his retirement, he worked part-time for a 
while. He liked to travel and to read. He read books 
about the old west, archaeology, religion and 
history, and Zane Grey was one of his favorite 

Ralph and Mildred Slavens celebrated their golden 
wedding anniversary in 1980 at the home of their 
daughter, Carol and Larry Johns, in Blue Springs, 
Missouri. They were married for almost 53 years. 
They were members of the Christian Church, 
Disciples of Christ and were very active in the 
Fredericktown Christian Church and the Union 
Avenue Christian Church in St. Louis, Missouri. As 
a member of the board of the Fredericktown 
Christian Church, he was a founder and supervisor 
of the Orchard Crest Camp which had been donated 
to the church. He served as president of the 
Madison County School Board, also was a member 
of the Fredericktown School Board. Mildred played 
the organ for the church and was an active member 
of the Christian Women's Fellowship. 

Ralph was a Mason, A.F. & A.M. for 55 years. 
During the time he lived in Oklahoma he served as 
Worshipful Master of his lodge and he also was 
appointed Grand Lecturer of the Oklahoma Grand 
Lodge. Mildred and Ralph were both members of 
the Order of Eastern Star. She served as Worthy 
Matron of Faith Chapter # 334 of Carl Junction, 
Missouri in 1945, and he served as Worthy Patron 
of McDonald Chapter # 128 in Fredericktown, 
Missouri. He was also a member of the Odd 
Fellows while they lived in Shidler, Oklahoma and 
served as Noble Grand. Mildred was a member of 
the Rebekahs there and served as Noble Grand. In 
Fredericktown, Missouri, she served as Guardian of 

the Job's Daughters when her daughter, Carol, was 
Honored Queen of that organization. She is a 
member of the D.A.R. 

Ralph Slavens died of cancer at Jewish Hospital, St. 
Louis, Missouri on August 14, 1983. He is buried in 
Oak Grove Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Mildred Slavens moved to Blue Springs, Missouri 
in 1990 and to Foxwood Springs Living Center, 
Raymore, Missouri in August, 1998. She is an 
active genealogist and has published books on her 
Welty, Crawford, Kerr, Eppright, and Heape 
ancestors. She works at libraries in Independence, 
Missouri and likes to travel to Washington, D. C., 
Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio, and other 
cities in Missouri to do her research. She has 
traveled in Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, 
Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, and Argentina. 

She died of complications following surgery on 
June 30, 2008 at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, 
Missouri. She is buried in Floral Hills East 
Cemetery, Lee’s Summit, Missouri.” 

The family books all included documents, such as 
wills, marriage licenses, birth certificates where 
available, and pictures. We had them duplicaated, 
but we assembled and bound them. Now, we would 
probably have the books published online, but that 
option was not available when she published her 


Julia Morse 

If you have ancestors involved in farming in the 
U.S. in the years 1850 through 1880, you may be 
able to access a rich amount of information about 
their farming activities—and thus, about their day- 
to-day family life--from a so-called “non- 
population” schedule of the U.S. Census called the 
“Agricultural Schedule.” Categories of information 
vary slightly according to the year, but basic 
information includes the acreage (“improved” and 
“unimproved”), value of farm implements, numbers 
of livestock, and harvest amounts. 

As an example, I found the record for our ancestor, 
Cader Mitchell’s 1850 farm in Caldwell County, 
Kentucky. It records the following information: 

Improved Acres: 150 

Unimproved Acres: 500 

Cash value of Farm: $3,500 

Value of farming Implements and Machinery: $175 
Livestock on June 1, 1850: 5 horses, 1 milch cow 
(or perhaps it is a 6?), 4 working oxen, 10 other 
cattle, 18 sheep, 180 swine; value of livestock 
estimated at $900. 

Produce harvested in the year ending June 1, 1850: 
40 bushels of wheat; 1,000 bushels of Indian corn; 
100 bushels of oats; 30 pounds of rice; 3,500 
pounds of tobacco; 60 pounds of wool; 10 bushels 
of beans; 150 bushels of potatoes; 300 pounds of 
butter; 300 pounds of flax (not flaxseed); 90 pounds 
of beeswax and honey; $70 in handmade 
manufactured product; and $130 value of 
slaughtered animal. 

We can compare these numbers with their 
neighbors. The acreage of the Cader Mitchell farm 
was comparable to their neighbors’, on the higher 
end, but similar to several neighbors, and not the 
largest. However, we find that the Mitchell family 
was the top hog producer, raising two to three times 
as many hogs as neighboring farms, who generally 
had between 2 and 100 hogs, compared to the 
Mitchell’s 180. This suggests an emphasis toward 
this line of enterprise. They likewise far exceeded 
their neighbors in Irish potato production. They 
were the second highest butter producer in the 
neighborhood--about twice the amount of the 
average family—which leads us to wonder if we 
have misinterpreted the handwritten “1” milch cow, 
which might have perhaps been a failed “6” on the 
part of the recorder (or else they had sold off some 
cows prior to the June 1 enumeration). The 
Mitchell family was in line with the highest of their 
tobacco-producing neighbors, and they produced 
about the same amount of wheat and Indian corn as 
their neighbors (on the medium high side, but not 
the highest). (“Indian corn” is the only type of corn 
listed on the 1850 census form.) Unlike their nearest 
neighbors, they did not grow sweet potatoes (or, if 
they did, the crop failed). 

As this farm was in a slave state, I also checked the 
slave schedule for an idea of how much of the farm 
was worked by enslaved persons. A family story 
suggests that, in 1840, when Cader’s wife, Martha 
Ann Nichols Mitchell died, leaving a household of 
children, relatives helped teach the girls how to 
supervise household slaves. Great Aunt Quincy 
recorded a family story dating to 1845, when “some 
of the older members of the family and the slaves 
arose early enough to see the caravan” of a circus 
pass along the road. After some begging, the 
younger children in the household were allowed to 
go into town to see the circus “in the care of faithful 
old Aunt Sylvia and her husband.” We know that 
Aunt Sylvia, a household slave, and “her children” 
had been dear enough to the family to be buried in 
the family cemetery. Another family story recorded 
by Great Aunt Quincy mentions “the Mitchell 
slaves” being occasionally visited by an intelligent 
mixed-race enslaved neighbor named Emma 
Hunter. (1) This was remembered from the 
childhood of Great Aunt Quincy’s mother, born in 
1847 and before one of the Mitchell girls (named in 
the story) was married in 1855. So, by this account, 
there were some “Mitchell slaves” in the early 
1850’s. However, as far as I could find in the 1850 
slave schedule, there were only three enslaved 
persons listed for the Cader Mitchell family in 
1850: One 23-year old female, a 2-year-old boy, 
and 3-month-old infant girl. We presume that Aunt 
Sylvia had since been buried in the family cemetery. 
We will dig further, (given the seeming discrepancy 
with the family stories), but these demographics 
seem to indicate that the family did not depend on 
slaves for the bulk of the farm labor, unless hired 
out from neighboring slaves. The 1850 population 
census records three adult Mitchell sons in addition 
to Cader Mitchell farming at home, plus a younger 
son (13-year-old George Washington Mitchell, our 
ancestor), and three daughters. A 20-year-old 
“farmer” named James M. Lang, not known to be a 
family member, was also in the household; we 
presume he helped with the farm as a hired hand. 

All-in-all, compared with the agricultural situation 
and production of their neighbors, the Cader 
Mitchell family seemed hard-working and 
comfortably successful. This conclusion seems in 
line with Emma Hunter’s stories of the fine silk 

dresses worn by two teenage Mitchell girls at a local 
gathering. (1) 

Professional genealogist Lissa Lisson (2) suggests 
additional uses for the information in the 
agricultural schedule. If your family farm has 
listings in multiple years, you can compare the 
values between different decades to see if the farm 
output has improved over time. This can be 
particularly useful if you would like to see how the 
family farm might have been affected by the Civil 
War or events in your family. (In the case of Cader 
Mitchell he had died in 1858, so improvement is 
harder to track, though could be further scrutinized 
through estate records and his descendant’s farm 

You can use the agricultural information (such as 
acreage amounts and neighbors in the listing) along 
with the population census of the same year, estate 
data, etc., to help confirm that you have matched 
your ancestor to the correct family listing in the 
population census. The agricultural census could 
also be helpful to confirm when the accompanying 
population census record has illegibility in the 

Likely one of the reasons that the agricultural 
schedules are not as widely used by family 
historians is that digitized images are still 
sporadically available and are usually not indexed 
by searchable databases. is said to 
provide access to the images and provide some 
indexing, though I could not confirm this. For free 
access, you have to do a little sleuthing to determine 
digitized access. Below I have provided links for 
states I was able to find. We will also provide these 
links through our MCG _ website: 

For some states, you may have to visit a historical 
library or genealogical center to access the records 
on microfilm. 

The good news for MCG readers is that Missouri is 
one of the states with excellent access to their 
Agricultural Schedule images! The Missouri 
Secretary of State Archives provides PDF links to 
the years 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880: 

These are not indexed. (Side note: While you are 
there, you might see if there are tax lists or state 
censuses for your Missouri ancestor as_ well: 

Some of the Pennsylvania Census Agricultural 
Schedules appear to be available at: 

Duke University houses Agricultural Census 
Schedules at: 
ss for the following States: Colorado, District of 
Columbia, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, 
Nevada, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wyoming. The 
Kentucky Agricultural Census records are also 
available and indexed name at 
This makes it quicker to search out possible family 
names from within Kentucky, even if you are unsure 
of the county or township. Access is free, but you 
have to register for a free login. Direct link to the 
United States, Kentucky, Agricultural Schedules, 
1850 -— 1880 is United States, Kentucky, 
Agricultural Schedules, 1850-1880 * FamilySearch. 
Or, from the menu, select Search > Records. Near 
the bottom left, use the “Find a Collection” tool by 
typing in the word “Agricultural.” Once at the 
collection page, type in the family name and county 
of interest to help you find the page image of 

Sources: (1) Quincy Mitchell, “History of Cato 
Mitchell and Descendants,” manuscript, January, 

(2) Lisa Lisson, “Did My Ancestor's Farm Prosper 
or Fail?,” Legacy Family Tree, 8 Jul 2015, 
genealogy-research.html, accessed 24 May 2022. 


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Julia Morse, Website Administrator, Digital Librarian